The Port of Baltimore
May/June 2013
Wind Energy
Could Blow
the Port’s Way
he Maryland State Legislature has
passed the 2012 Wind Energy Act,
essentially guaranteeing a market
for energy produced by the wind,
which in turn makes the construction
of offshore wind farms attractive to
Some 40 to 60 wind turbines are
expected to be built off the mid-Atlantic
coast in the next few years, and the Port
of Baltimore is poised to make a pitch
to handle the giant cargo involved in the
construction, such as the blades and
“We are the first state doing this, and
we want to show it can be successful,”
said Joseph M. Greco, Sr., Deputy
Director of Marketing for the Maryland
Port Administration (MPA). “We’re willing
to take on some of the hard issues.”
Representatives from the Port of
Baltimore traveled to the United Kingdom
and Germany to see how other ports have
handled the oversized cargo related to
wind turbine construction — cargo that
also requires a large parcel of land for a
lay-down area and certain pier strengths.
Greco explained that special “jack-up”
vessels are used for the construction at
the offshore site. Equipped with large
cranes and carrying pieces of the wind
turbines, they sail to the construction
area, and then have four legs that lift the
vessel out of the water so that the cranes
can be used. But jack-up vessels cost
between $100,000 and $300,000 per day
to lease.
To help developers save costs, the
Port of Baltimore is crafting plans to have
the components placed on barges, which
could be towed down the Chesapeake
Bay to meet the jack-up vessel, sparing
them the need to sail up the bay.
Eventually, Greco said, the
components for wind turbines could be
manufactured in this country. “We think
Sparrows Point would be perfect,” he
But until then, the Port stands ready
to meet the challenges of importing this
unusual cargo.
Dray Truck Replacement
Program Meets Initial Goal
he Mid-Atlantic Dray Truck Replacement Program
marked a milestone this spring; the 50th older truck
was taken off the road and replaced with a newer,
cleaner, more fuel-efficient model.
The newer-model trucks meet higher emissions standards than
the trucks that were replaced. “We’re happy to play a significant
role in modernizing the dray truck fleet and reducing air emis-
sions in our state and region,” said Barbara McMahon, Maryland
Port Administration (MPA) Manager, Safety, Environment & Risk
Management. “The Port of Baltimore community is committed to
continually improving air quality through this program and other
The program offers qualifying owner-operators of trucks
that service Port of Baltimore marine terminals a $20,000 grant
per vehicle to scrap older trucks and buy ones with engines
newer than 2007. The program is funded by grants from the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, the Maryland Department of
the Environment, the Maryland Department of Transportation
and the MPA, and administered by the Mid-Atlantic Regional
Air Management Association (MARAMA) and the University of
Maryland Environmental Finance Center.
Diesel engines can last 20 or 30 years, but in recent years,
technological advances have produced engines that are cleaner and
more fuel-efficient. Unfortunately, owner-operators couldn’t afford
to replace a vehicle that still ran well, even though it cost them more
in fuel. The $20,000 in grant funds encourages participation in a
program that improves air quality for the port community as well as
the air quality owner-operators encounter each workday.
“We appreciate the owner-operators, truck sales personnel,
loan officers and scrap yards who help make this project work,”
said Susan Wierman, Executive Director of MARAMA. “We
recognize it’s important to minimize downtime when purchasing
a new or used truck, and we’ve set up the process to accomplish
that. Getting preliminary loan approval and not scrapping your old
truck until the grant payment is prepared are keys to success.”
The program’s initial target was to replace 50 trucks, and
there is enough money to replace a few more, although now
there is a waiting list of applicants. MARAMA representatives
are seeking various funding mechanisms to continue the
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